Joey Johnson is in his seventh season as head coach of Reinhardt Men’s Soccer.
Under the direction of Coach Johnson, Eagle men’s soccer has developed into a nationally respected program. His emphasis on cultivating a team-driven culture combined with high professional standards and an intentional focus on the holistic development of the athlete has created a unique environment where student-athletes can thrive on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
The 2019 campaign saw the Eagles claim a sixth-consecutive season with double-digit wins, equal a program-record Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) win total with eight and narrowly missed a third-consecutive AAC championship title by one goal during the regular season.
In 2018, the Reinhardt men’s soccer program finished with a record of 14-4-2, as it claimed its second-consecutive AAC championship and advanced to the NAIA National Championship tournament.
The Eagles rose in the national rankings to 12th in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 poll and 13th in the MRPI polls, respectively.
The Reinhardt men’s soccer program made history in 2017 by capturing the AAC regular-season championship with an undefeated record of 8-0-1 in AAC play. This achievement was made even more impressive given the strength of the AAC, as the conference featured five programs in the Top 25 national rankings in 2017.
In Johnson’s first season with the Eagles in 2014, Reinhardt finished with a 15-3 record and earned a regular-season AAC championship for the first time in the program’s history. The Eagles shattered program records as they rose in the NAIA polls to as high as 14th in the nation.
This season served to build a foundation for future success as the Eagles have accumulated an overall record of 72-30-6 (42-11-4 in the AAC) in the past six seasons under Coach Johnson while maintaining a consistent presence in the NAIA Top 25 polls.
The combination of a creative attacking mentality with a disciplined approach to the game defensively has led to the Eagles success on the conference, regional and national levels.
In his time at Reinhardt, Johnson has coached 35 All-AAC selections (22 AAC First Team, 13 AAC Second Team).
Additionally, he has coached three NAIA All-Americans (Honorable Mention), 13 NSCAA NAIA All-Region East selections, an AAC Freshman of the Year, an AAC Defensive Player of the Year, an AAC Offensive Player of the Year and an AAC Player of the Year – which are all program firsts.
Johnson has been named AAC Coach of the Year four times – 2012, 2013, 2017 and 2018. He has also been selected as NSCAA NAIA East Region Coach of the Year on three occasions in 2012, 2013 and 2017.
The men’s soccer program also has earned national recognition for its academic success during Johnson’s tenure.
The Eagles have been ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 nationally for five-consecutive years for combined team GPA (No. 1 – 2016; No. 2 – 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015). Johnson has seen his student-athletes selected 64 times to the AAC All-Academic Team and 24 times as national Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athlete honorees.
Prior to Reinhardt, Johnson served for two seasons as the head coach at Bryan (Tenn.), where he saw his team rise as high as No. 15 in the NAIA national rankings. The Lions went on to win an AAC championship in 2013 and qualified for the NAIA National Championship.
Coach Johnson brings a wealth of experience to the Reinhardt program as a veteran coach and a former professional player. Johnson served on both the coaching staff of UNC-Wilmington (NCAA Division I) and with the Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro) under USL Hall of Fame coach, David Irving, for the 2011 campaign.
In 2010, Johnson spent six months with Club Alianza Lima, the most historic professional club in the Peruvian First Division while living in Peru developing a vision for an indigenous coaching network among Amazonian tribal people.
From 2006 to 2009, Coach Johnson served as an associate head coach with the men’s program at Bryan. In that span of four seasons, the Lions compiled 47 wins, captured two AAC championships and qualified for the NAIA National Championship for the first time in history.
Coach Johnson served as a player/assistant with the longest running professional club in Canada, London City FC, in 2006. He also was an assistant coach at Southern Wesleyan University (2001-04), Milligan (Tenn.) (1997-00), and Bryan (1996) for both the men’s and women’s programs, capturing six conference titles and advancing to one national championship final in 2003 with Southern Wesleyan.
Johnson has earned a United States Soccer Federation A license and a USC (formerly NSCAA) Premier Diploma.
As a collegiate player, Johnson had a successful playing career for Bryan (NAIA) and Liberty University (NCAA DI). After graduation from Liberty, Johnson was signed to a professional contract in South America with Aurora FC and began a pro career that would span a decade in the USA, Canada and South America.
Johnson won USL national championships twice as a professional in the USA (Charlotte Eagles in 2000; Wilmington Hammerheads in 2003). Johnson represented his pro clubs on five continents while experiencing the world’s beautiful cultures through the gift of friendship that the game of soccer so quickly provides.
Coach Johnson earned his B.S. in History from Liberty in 1996.
He and his wife, Suzanne, live in the area with their three sons.